Geothermal on Track to Make Walgreen’s Store Net Zero Energy

June 20, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

walgreens energy manageWalgreens is working with GI Energy to track its geothermal resources at its net-zero energy prototype store in Evanston, Ill.

Walgreens says over the course of 2014, it is on track for the store to realize zero cumulative energy from the grid, and the company actually hopes to be net positive.

So far, Walgreens and GI Energy are reporting three key findings with geothermal:

  1. Better financial performance thanks to reduced energy and maintenance costs and avoided refrigeration downtime;
  2. Preparation for the eventual phase out of synthetic refrigerants by successfully integrating with R744; and
  3. Better visibility as a sustainable brand.

Walgreens uses the earth’s stable 54-degree temperature to heat and cool the store. The CO2 heat pump pulls the heat out of the freezers and coolers and puts it back in the space to heat the building when it needs to be heated, or stores the heat in the ground for use in the winter.

The companies say incorporating HVAC into the refrigeration rack breaks down a historic barrier to innovation, and the geothermal loop adds redundancy and increases operational flexibility.

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